Jonathan Vaughters fired the highly successful Directeur Sportif Matt White yesterday from the Garmin Cervelo professional cycling team, for sending a rider to a doctor for a check up, without clearing it with team headquarters first.
For those who don't follow cycling this is the equivalent of Barack Obama firing Hilary Clinton, for sending an aid to a restaurant she's heard about in a country on which we have a trade embargo, without first clearing it with the White House. Well, sort of. I mean, it's both that big and that shocking. It also sends out a message: We mean it when we say "We won't tolerate this."
The reason Garmin has the rule is because they have a strict anti-doping policy, and they monitor every little opportunity in which doping might rear its ugly head. There was apparently no doping in this episode--just the opportunity for it to occur because the rider saw a doctor who had been linked to it in the past.
All the rider saw the doctor for was a VO2 test. It was Matt White who sent him there without asking first, so it was Matt White who took the fall.
I feel bad for Matt White and the Garmin "lads" (as he calls them), but this is a good thing. It tells me (and hopefully the rest of the world), that Garmin's anti-doping stance is no smoke.
I have also decided that in the interest of full disclosure, I should list the performance enhancing drugs that are getting me through the Bike Challenge. I feel I owe it to the many people who have placed their faith in me. I freely admit that without these drugs, I probably would not be able to complete all 2011 miles this year. If that makes me a doper, so be it; at least I've been honest with you.
Without further ado, here they are:
Drugs I take every day:
Nexium (for chronic acid reflux)
Crestor (for high cholesterol)
Drugs I take every once in a while:
Advil (for sore, achy muscles and the occasional headache--in fact, I'm thinking of taking one this morning)
Zomig (for the migraines I get about four times a year)
Drugs I have taken in the past year and may have to take again this year if the need arises:
Flonase (for a chronically stuffy nose; had to stop because it gave me a headache--see above)
Tylenol for Sinus Headache and Pain (see above, stuffy nose)
Cyclobenzaprine (OK, this was just twice, at night, for a muscle spasm caused by a pinched nerve in my neck)
Nyquil (I had a head cold last spring)
Dayquil (see above, head cold)
Drugs for which I have a prescription but have never used (well, maybe I used it once several years ago; can't remember):
An asthma inhaler (for seasonal, exercise-induced asthma; can't even remember the brand name)
I also eat walnuts, blueberries, and drink a glass of red wine with dinner on a nearly daily basis.
Oh, and of course, there are the apple fritters:
Well, I think that about covers it. I feel much better having gotten that off my chest.
Keep those pledges coming. We're up to nearly $4300 for the South Plains Food Bank farm. You all rock.